Scullery Mode


It’s a curious thing how you don’t post personal stuff for a while, a need, an urgency builds.  You just want to reaffirm your humanity, your presence, you want to wipe away all doubts.  Both mine and yours.

The diet continues, but it needs me to have more money and focus.  I can give it the latter and pray for the former and just not eat so much. I’ve been under the line every day, doing more exercise than zero exercise, and yet, I know there’s a better way to go about this.  I just don’t think kicking my ass over the good I am doing is going to suddenly knock out the shitty parts – like having half a sandwich for lunch and the other for dinner because that sandwich is that calorific. Vegetables, come on.

I am meeting with my cousin/the business coach on Saturday.  I am hoping to figure out some sort of plan from there…if there even needs…well, it’s just hard to say what has to be done and what could be done and what is just this angst that OMG WHERE DO WE FIND $$$? (Don’t say the Dollar Store.)

I did read an excellent article on The School of Life about relating to your job and ways to contemplate where you should be and why it’s natural and okay to get het up about these things.   A cursory tour of Monster just depresses the hell out of me.  I don’t want to do anything, but write – or be a cog somewhere where everything is steady and I could just be invisible.  But I don’t want that either.  I need a bit of purpose, a bit of fame, a bit of support.  I want, perhaps, what my job was meant to be rather than holding a tiger by the tail.

Ah.   Tomorrow, we will dance about.  We will not sleep in.  We will get our roots bleached.   There will be a bit of magic growing in the middle distances. We will sip at it.  We will dance for it.  We will sing its praises.  We will take it with no regrets.

I had a dream about you the other day.  It doesn’t matter, you don’t matter (insofar that I am fixedly aware that you are far away, you don’t know me, you are surely attached elsewhere, and whatever heartbreak this gives me is no fresh fissure.  I’ll live, darling, no matter how deeply you stab me), and one dream matters little more than another.  However, this dream did involve us hunting down a topless, radioactive monster in the shape of Helen Mirren in a Beetlejuice suit.   She had that snake neck he had in the end.  We were in some sort of haunted mansion and were somehow coerced out of the one safe place, the bed…to protect it from her Stygian powers.  I believed you could do anything.  It was a warm one.  I could feel you through your t-shirt.  I could believe it further than is right for someone that matters not at all.

Come by again tonight.  I’ll turn down the covers, leave a mint, and set your wakeup call so you’ll be gone well before I open my eyes.

Hard Livin’ in Bitch City


Just give me a day.  Just let me have this.  Don’t…just don’t.

This isn’t Grumpytown.  This is out and out Bitch City.  Population me.  Lady Mayor: me.  Fucking sanitation crew: me.  And none of us are all that goddamned pleased to be here.

There is no reason in particular, but we’ve written up the charter and this is where us and the fish live.

Anger is a sign that you’re meant to pay attention.  I am trying to pay attention.  I am just…it has to be food.  Everything is accounted for and tracked as best I could – I even tweeted the pizza place to try and get today’s neapolitan pizza.  To no avail, apparently.  So best guesses were made and I have a little wiggle room, and I ate less because of it and I don’t get to just eat until this goes mute so I…just want to scream and hit things and spin around until I crack my head on something and they have to screw my jaws shut and then I want to scream so hard I pull the wires apart like some kind of maniac.  Like I want to break out of a straitjacket and roam the streets howling and kicking soft things in their faces. This is rough when you have to, for propriety’s sake in an attached condominium, basically never raise your voice above a whisper and it’s maybe 30 degrees outside.

I hate…I don’t hate…I am reasonably unnerved that I have 900 tabs open to search for how many calories are in things and I can’t be sure so if I fucked up, I can’t know, I can only suspect.  So I am sitting here suspecting myself of a failure that can’t exist because there is nothing being attempted here except trying to live and…I am just so annoyed right now.  I think it’s because I keep believing things I’m told and they aren’t…It’s fine.  I know this will pass.  It’s birthday blow over energy and I’m lonely and it happens and fuck everybody who looks at me and doesn’t get the fact I have this roaring maelstrom inside my soul, fuck ’em with rusty cutlery and salmonella-infected whiffle bats.


There’s a guy on OKC who asked about whether or not I’d seen  Sudden Manhattan.  This is, up there on my list of favorite movies.  It has Adrienne Shelly in it, my favorite actress.  I have not responded.  He is old.  I don’t want any of him or this.  This is not what I should do, but it is what I have done.

I’m supposed to have a story done.  I’m supposed to work on the novel.  Everything feels creepy and overwrought and full of effort.   If there’s anything I hate more than everything, it’s seeing the work.  If you’re good enough, you don’t see the struggle.   More bullshit that is dancing in sparkling high heels on my head.

I keep trying and things just flake off.  I can’t make a thing root and live.   This whole life is a dust bowl.

+ 129 words elsewhere.  Just as shitty.

Day for Night (Via Orestiada)


Things the stock photo guy never imagined he’d be promoting when he took this photo: my bullshit life.  Ha-ha, tee-hee!

Odd, odd, odd day.

I woke up this morning feeling ripped out of the land of Nod by my shoulders and birthed back into reality with not so much as a how do you do.   The dream I left was extra-weird, with me insisting a kitten-centric railroad calendar (think Chessie the Railroad Kitten, only with real, modern day kitties! omg!) would we highly saleable, to no one’s agreement.  Apparently, I dream of kitties and fascists who debate religion and philosophy.  I clung to my alarm, minute by minute, until I absolutely had to get up.  I felt hungover, sour, exhausted and all of my plans to get up early and workout (by which I mean walk about a bit or get on my bike and pedal) felt cotton candy in a quick moving stream.  Just gone.

Then, as happens so much lately, as soon as we hit the road for work, there’s a call and shit to be handled and in this case, the shit was ton of boxes that had to be loaded into cars from last month’s event.  Things had to be done today or else sort of situation.  So, we hauled boxes into our cars for half an hour before I returned to my post as chief of holding the carpet down while attempting to file and do whatever the heck else it is I do with myself.

It was not, however, so bad.  It was not, as I presupposed, the end.  It was, as per usual, more of the same wacky same.   There was no reason or purpose in going to go eat my way out of the emotions I was feeling.  There was no cosmic imperative to cake myself to numbness. I could just eat a bit, write it down, and know there was more later.   I want to walk closer to the things I’m dreaming of, let the ripple of confusion run through me, tilt all the little filaments and cilia a new direction.  At the moment, it’s in that sweet spot, where we’re in a partnership, the eating and the thinking about eating and…the me.  Nobody’s getting too far ahead of anyone else.  Nobody’s demanding the stage.  We just are supporting what one another wants to do which is mainly to eat for pleasure, to eat thoughtfully,  and to be fed and live.

I hope we can carry on like this.  I really do.

Dinner was at Tokyo Joe’s.  Now I am so loaded with rice and vegetables that even though I have room for a little dessert, on ye olde food diary – I’m pretty sure I don’t want it.  We’ll see.  Isn’t it nice to just…see?

What else, my lads and lassies?  What is worth spinning from flax to cloth?

The rest of the night is devoted to building more story bones, caring about mules, reading about writing, putting myself on the bike regardless of the clock, and stretching the muscles where the stupid lives and grows like crystals.

Someday, I will learn to stop liking lists.  And on that day, I shall die.


Merry as a Grig

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I know I need to write on the novel.  I do, I do, I do, or at the very least start editing a few other things, having some word fun.  The Faithful Light (i.e. the very cleverest, most loyal part of my inner eye that watches all and guides towards higher ground) said today that it is only doing the work that will save you, not the dreaming of doing the work.

So I heard her, but I have applied it in a different arena today and have tracked food, eaten a little that felt like a lot (still have room for some ice cream, caffeinated ice cream which I don’t need), and have done a little in-home cardio for 30 minutes rather than the baseline 10.  Also, it appears that I have nearly (.8) lost the first pound of the however many I end up losing and leaving lost.  Almost wish it was frameable and could be stuck on the wall to remind me.

But it’s not even a whole dollar’s worth of a pound yet.  And who can say what my body will do as I collar it and yank it around the exercise pen.  There’s always push-back.  There’s always stress headaches and skipping food and long days rather than three day weekends and food cooked for you to fuck it up.  It will happen.  But today, today was grand for its clarity.  Also washed all the pots and pans and watched a bit of The Tribe, so I feel well sated for intentional living.

As shitty as yesterday was, we boomerang around to feeling alright.  Thinking about my birthday coming up.  Happy about it, actually, because I’m both working on myself so I’m not Queen of the Slugs, and because I’m free to enjoy it.  Actually enjoy it and not have to consider how much I have to pinch and cut to make it “justified,” or insisting that I was going to throw caution to the wind and just gorge myself.  Now, it’s just going to be a nice day and I’ll read on it and write on it and dance on it and sing on it and possibly cry and mope on it and it won’t be catastrophe.

So long as I get my dutch oven.



+300 story words.


Secret Ravings of a Homeless Witch


This is the post I wanted to write – the post I am writing despite still needing to do my romantical paean or whatever the heck rutting behind the chiffarobe sort of scene I’m aiming for.

I need to track exactly what I eat.  Or as exactly as the software allows.  I need to document my choices without curling up into myself.  Without yellowing and peeling as soon as I realize that I fucked up and then, trying to alter the record so that it isn’t written down, in digital stone, that I am a failure.

I have been really good and today, that fuck-up happened.  But if there is nothing to fuck up, and that is fucking with my head!  There was the Timely Garnet Extravaganza playing all day long in my undercarriage, with the glorious attendant rumblings of pain, sharp and bright like sheet lighting.  There was the financial dealings that have bled their way into my financial dealings which meant, at least for today, there was soup for leftovers and a crap outlook for grocery shopping. Then, there was me sealing that aforementioned soup shut in the microwave, and me in my new but already shaggy-dog looking poncho which is a look jokingly referred to as “homeless witch” by a sharp-tongued co-worker.  Whose sharp-tongue I usually appreciate and am amused by, but today, instead, felt rather a bit exhausted and irritated with.  I had put on makeup today.  I had pulled my hair into a cute ponytail.  Everyone was a little surprised at me getting the brunt of it, even him. Even though we all know that he just says whatever he thinks for better or worse. That’s the bit that bothers me, because nobody gives me feedback, really, and then, suddenly, out of the blue, this wry negative I have to laugh off.  I mean, I am totally down with witchery and wildness, but that wasn’t what he meant or what I had been gunning for.  I feel sort of messy and melted, but nobody’s allowed to pick up on that.  It sort of pisses on this idea that I thought maybe I was getting somewhere, yesterday.  It was feeling easier.  And today, I’m feeling like I can’t move two inches but for falling into another black hole of unsolvable problems.  Like my self-esteem got kicked in its imaginary junk.

So, the pizza I said yesterday, oh no, it’s crap, I would never eat it.   It is crap, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t eat it today because it Or the doughnut holes I am eating before dinner and probably in a minute going to have again.  I really wish I could have not.  But I did.  I have to own that I did it and not do it again tomorrow when things are going to be equally haywire.

Life is always going to jam me up.

I think the shame exists because I wish I could have some backbone in me that would feel obliged to say, hey, you are trying to lose weight and that means that you can’t do do what you did before.  This is what you want to escape.  You have to dig your heels in and pivot.  And when you don’t listen to your better voices, and you know you’re giving up time just to feel…not good or bad, but simply nothing, it’s embarrassing.  It’s embarrassing to say I ate maniacally and privately and in an attempt to keep myself from feeling regret about my job, regret about my body, from perceiving the failure I so often register myself as being.  Not resulting from my choices, but in-born, genetic, terminal failure.  I can hear the tsk-tsk, and the berating tone, and nobody’s said anything.  I make myself feel terrible so that I can keep eating poorly and have this same exhausting conversation over and over again.

But it doesn’t have to be.  Because before, I would do this binge-eating (which, I think in my personal history of bingeing and the collective one I believe exists, is not so bad) and nobody would know about it.   Food was medicine. Food was private.   Food was the panacea and where I didn’t have be nice and polite and silent.   I didn’t have to think about  I had the power to make sure I could get all I needed.   If I happened to eat publically, that was a social requirement, not nutrition.  Lately, though, all I needed is a hell of a lot.

So we have to say what is.   I didn’t want there to be rules I could fail, but there is still the desire that I want to meet. So we have to track what I actually ate.  Even if it’s “bad.” Even if it says that I took a flying leap.  Because we can’t work from nebulous generalities.  We do choose better when we know better, so pretending we can’t know – that it’s all incalculable intangible ATE GOOD or fluid, approximate ATE BAD, how do we replicate it or avoid it?  We end up pulling the same experiments over and over again, every time coming up REPLY HAZY, ASK AGAIN LATER.

Time for the bike and the floor.

Negative Space


I know, because I’ve been given a Clue, that it’s around that time of these 30 or so days that I start to feel emotional about reality.  Mine, of course, and our shared reality.  Neither of which is always kind or sufficiently explained to us.   It’s one of those nights where you start crying and stop, you shiver and you strain, and you keep thinking about things that hurt as though they were a flame you’re inextricably drawn to burn yourself on.

David Bowie was not necessarily someone who was important to me.  He wasn’t important to me in the way Johnny Rzeznik was.  Or Matthew Good was.  Or Liz Phair.  I didn’t buy his albums.  My parents were never into Ziggy Stardust.  I saw Labyrinth mostly to be indoctrinated into the allure of the codpiece,  but preferred what I grew up watching: the Tangerine Dream seriousness of Legend.  I loved the Flight of the Conchords’ 1-step removed imitation of the icon. Like everyone, I was caught off-guard by the news last night and was convinced for at least an hour that it was a horrible hoax.   And like everyone, now I’m left to absorb the fact that we’ve lost a real icon, a real human being.  I’m startled to find that perhaps he was more important to me than I ever realized.

I wasn’t sure I thought I’d check my Itunes, just to see. But I needn’t have wondered, because of course, there’s some Bowie in there.  That was one part of his power.  Omnipresence.  Not looming, not lurking, just living on the periphery of your experience, waiting for half an invitation to come and thrill you before escaping again for further adventure.   I don’t think I’ve ever listened to this song ever…Cat People, but it’s there waiting for me, like a audiomantic revelation.  And I’ve been putting out fire / With gasoline! 

Friends are sharing videos.  I’ve been reading reminiscences from celebrities and reactions from everyone.  Why does it feel like someone made a mistake?  Like we still need David Bowie?  Like none of us had ever added it all up and told the powers that keep the books out there that we needed more time to find the mustardseed?  That we’d have genuflected at the font if we knew what it meant to do without him.

Maybe I never felt like I had to give my heart to David Bowie because he was bigger than any of my petty concerns.  He was in the atmosphere.  He was elemental in my mind, factual, permanent.  His coolness equally so.  I know now how much I took his presence, his talent, his history that built the pop culture I am so passionate about today, his out and out weirdness for granted.  I feel like I could have been an excellent fan of his – I still could be – but I could have felt that connection with his music when I felt like I was nothing and no one and adrift on the rainiest South Atlantic oceans.  I could have learned more about who he was before this instead of relying on collective memory, collective belief.  I could have taken his umbrella from the storm and stood under it with other oddballs and off-brands and self-made creatures.  I suppose I found other umbrellas, but it was the same storm and we were all weathering it together.

He shared my aunt’s birthday.  He passed on my grandmother’s.  A Capricorn with a sliver of the Devil in his eye.

That is the lesson in all of this.  You have your window.  Whatever it is.  However long that you’ve been allotted.  For all of it.   For your passions, your hates, your learning, your feasting, your rock star idolatry.  And as situated and stone-bound as you may feel, fate can swirl you up and away you go, onto your new, juicy adventure and all of this, grand and horrific and sublime and stupid as it is, goes away.  So, yeah, I made the chocolate mug cake, and yeah, I’m writing this other dude back even though he has a kid and says Lol, and yeah, I feel loss for time spent blinking at popcorn ceilings and cringing in doorways.   I feel regret.  I want to know about the David Bowies of the world.  I want to share my umbrella.


Punky Brewster

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Feelin’ kind of punky tonight.   I have lost 0 weight this first week.  In so doing, I have failed nothing.  I want to lose it as a concept a few percentage points more now, just organically, by keeping up these habits and knowing I have more effort left in store to give this.

Went to the Texas Roadhouse and did mostly as was intended, mostly.   That fucking bottomless bread that has some sort of hidden sweetness in it that I don’t even like.  It was really nice, though, that we were all able to talk like a human family together.  A bit irritable about something work-related (on a Saturday, too!) that is not immediately resolvable (is this a word?), and feeling just funny and punky and lonely and weird.   Writing things other than this really poorly, but enjoying the fact that I can do it even when the Crone and all her nodding retinue swears that I can’t.  That I’m blocked and locked up and don’t know my characters, when I do.  Bitches, I know them so terribly well they’ve been tattooed on me for aeons.

I am caught up on A Chef’s Life.  Tomorrow: soup.   I continue to read my third book of the year (happens to be Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – feel a bit like someone distilled my most optimistic, empathetic, romantic regards for writing and I’m not sure if I taste the saccharine in it or if I’m just being a punk.   Have had some positive self-thoughts today, tried to be sarcastic, but this time the disingenuity was wholly on the part of the jerkface parts of me.  I kept thinking nice things.  I should stop before I end up believing them.

Figuring out that as soon as I want something to happen and I stop with my bullshit and get after it, I can have it.  It is basically tantamount to just needing to turn my head to the left.  Not even figuring that out, I know that much, just realizing the whole fucking psychological ping pong game my life is. Yearning being slapped back by vulnerability being slapped back by over-defensiveness being slapped back by desire being backhanded by shame.  Can we just sit still a moment, please?  One person, under her own power, indivisible.

Tonight’s soundtrack:


+300 story words.